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Swine Flu

Suffering swine flu could leave you with 'super-immunity', researchers say

Feeling cold, sweaty, miserable, exhausted and aching? Cheer up. Successfully battling a bout of the swine flu could leave you with a supercharged immune system.

GOOD NEWS FOR swine flu sufferers: successfully battling a bout of the illness could leave you with a supercharged immune system.

Researchers responsible for a study which has just been published in the January 10 edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine have discovered that bodies fighting off a dose of H1N1 produce an antibody that is capable of killing many flu strains.

They hope to be able to harness the power of this antibody to develop a flu vaccine that would protect against all types of influenza, heralding an end to the hit-and-miss approach that’s currently taken to vaccine development.

Nine patients who had suffered swine flu were monitored during and after infection, the BBC reports. The patients were found to have produced a wide range of antibodies to flu, including five that would have been capable of fighting every seasonal flu strain of the last decade, the Spanish flu of 1918, and the potentially deadly bird flu, H5N1.

The research team responsible for the findings are planning to turn their attention next to the immune response of people who didn’t get ill last year, but got the flu vaccine to see if they also have super-immunity.

The finding is “something like the Holy Grail for flu vaccine research,” according to Patrick Wilson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

Meanwhile, healthy people in Britain – the so-called ‘worried well’ – been asked to hold off paying for the flu jab privately until stocks have been replenished, the Daily Telegraph reports.

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